Elijah Simmons: "DJing came first for me, making music is a love I found later..."

Words by: Errol Leslie
Posted: 13/10/16 9:58

Interview with UK DJ & producer Elijah Simmons

Having released across a number of well-respected labels including Kompakt and Biologic Records, Elijah Simmons is now set to bring his dynamic productions to the Inside Out Records family. The Delphi EP has already gained huge respected within the scene, so when an opportunity comes up to jump into further detail with the main man we simply couldn't say no. Check out what happened when we caught up with Elijah Simmons below!

DJing came first for me, making music is a love I found later in life...What came first for you, was it Djing or production? Was there a turning point when you were truly happy with the music you were making?
DJing came first for me, making music is a love I found later in life. I wasn't born with a turntable in my arms either - was always into music but didn't start DJing until I was probably 18.

I started being truly happy with my music when I started finishing projects. Of course you always have to discount for your relative skill level, but closing projects is a sure-fire way to constantly improve!

I am starting to gravitate towards more effective, straightforward & a little more psychedelic stuff...How would you say your sound has developed over the years, what is it that prompted any change?
It's only recently, that I've actually relaxed the limitations that I used to set in my process (you have to sound like this or that etc.) and do more of what feel right. I think from more melancholic, dreamy, abstract, I am starting to gravitate towards more effective, straightforward and a little more psychedelic stuff.

The two main drivers behind the change: DMX+Tape combo and DJ Koze, definitely DJ Koze.

Talk us through your upcoming release on Inside Out Records. What was the inspiration behind it and how did you first come to be involved with the label?
This release is made of 3 tracks that I did last September/October, still very much influenced by the Cycladic scenery I was exposed to over that past summer - imagine a ferry, wild rocks jumping out of the archipelago, scorching heat etc.

Inside Out is part founded by my good friend and engineering wizard Stevie R, with whom we share a Greek connection. We met randomly in London at The Docks studios (these guys run an awesome radio station, you should probably check it out) and then one thing led to the other aaaaaaand...here we are. I know they like to release imaginative music and I'm really pleased they were on board with the concept of the record.

How do you start when you first sit down in the studio? Is it the same procedure every time? Is it more melody or rhythm based?
Depends on the mood, sometimes it's a bassline, sometimes a drum pattern, sometimes a sample that caught my attention. It's nice to experiment with different techniques to keep things interesting, probably the same as every creative/artistic pursuit.

It's nice to experiment with different techniques to keep things interesting...Favourite synth/plugin etc.?
Kramer Tape and CLA Drums from the Waves Suite.

What was the first record shop you ever visited? Can you remember what the first record was?
Earworm in York (UK). It was a batch of 10 that I bought - a couple of Kompakt records in there for sure and I think also a Herzblut release.

Let's jump into your DJ sets, how do you undertake a set, is it solely DJing or do you like to incorporate live elements too?
Straight out DJ set! I started out with vinyl and slowly phasing that back in. Generally I like to start slow and set the mood and then gradually move things along taking cues for the crowd and developing a narrative. I always enjoy it more, and the crowd does too.

Who would be your dream collaboration? Why is it you feel your sounds would work so well?
Koze; yeah definitely Koze! With respect to our sounds being compatible, I think I am still forming an identity, so that "sound" is not a static concept (not that it ever will be, but the range will narrow down).  But the idea of working with a hero of yours is SO gratifying.

Do you have any up and coming artists that you would recommend we check out?
Powder, Oceanic, Prins Emanuel, Jonathan Kusuma.

To finish off, what are your best opening, peak time and closing tunes?

  1. Opening: Elzeard - Moana (FTD)
  2. Middle: Terragem - Lnrdcroy (Firecracker)
  3. Closing: Loving - Unknown (OC Edits) (Nous'klear)
Artist: Elijah Simmons Title: Delphi EP Label: Inside Out Records
Artist: Elijah Simmons
Title: Delphi EP
Label: Inside Out Records

Tracklist
01. Dream Sequence
02. Delphi
03. Close to You


Release date: 17th October 2016
Ca No: IOR019
insideoutrec.com

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Elijah Simmons Online

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